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Mini Shakespeare Festival for Warwick

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING AND MEASURE FOR MEASURE STAGED IN MINI SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL FOR WARWICK Shakespeare Young Company and Playbox Theatre bring Shakespeare’s dark comedies to The Dream Factory this Spring

Every Spring for the past 11 years, Shakespeare comes to Warwick in an event that has become an anticipated delight in The Dream Factory season. Playbox Theatre and their unruly sibling Shakespeare Young Company create a Shakespeare Festival. Past seasons have focused on the histories – Games & Thrones, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and All’s Well That Ends Well with the recent Dream transferring to Santa Monica Playhouse in the Autumn of 2018. Two of Shakespeare’s ‘darker’ comedies play in repertoire this season, Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure. The plays will share an auditorium and performance arena space, yet they are created to be entirely different in their approach, design and performance style. ‘Some Cupid kills with arrows some with looks’ Much Ado About Nothing Claudio is in love with Hero and vice versa, nothing can come between them, it seems. Benedick loves Beatrice and she him – neither will admit it! On the surface a bitter-sweet comedy, beneath lurks a dark and ominous presence determined to destroy happiness. Much Ado, written 1598-1599, is a beautiful mix of comic and dramatic suspense with two of Shakespeare’s wittiest and most loved romantics. Directed by Mary King, set in Pre-Raphaelite inspired garden the production is for all ages and a perfect introduction to the play for families. Sophia Rowlatt (15) and Sam Bain (16) play the reluctant lovers with Molly Beadon (17) as Hero and Will Parsons (16) as Claudio. The company is completed by Caitlin Jenkins, Jessica Clews, Amber Ahark, Rose Agnew, Sebastian Dibb, Ben Hepworth, Oscar Webster, Corin Alford, Jacob White, Greg Madden, Ed Buckley, Calum Blackie, Liv Cond, Ruby Riley, Amelia Travis, Lily Gough, Ella Hampson, Reuben Moss, Dylan Jones and Frankie Minchella. Performances at The Dream Factory, Warwick Thurs 11th April, 7.30pm Sat 13th April, 3pm Tickets: £15 Standard, £9 Concessions ‘The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept’ Measure for Measure Vincenzia, Head of State in a contemporary Vienna, announces her withdrawal from public life, leaving the zealous Angelo in charge. He immediately begins a severe application of the law, cleaning up the city and imposing harsh penalties for offenders. One, Claudio, is sentenced to death and his sister Isabella is alone in seeking mercy for her brother. The production is given as an experiment for actors and audience to view the enquiry into sexual exploitation, injustice, hypocrisy and abuse of power in Shakespeare’s scathing exploration of sexual politics and power. Cate Johannessen is Isabella with Noah Lukehurst as Angelo, Paige Cooper as Vincenzia and Eilidh Evans as Mariana. The company is completed by Teagan Gough, Megan Brougham, Danni Burridge, David Hass, Tegan Elliott, Katie Walsh, Syd Sutherland, Beatriz Sanchez, Molly Perkins, Max Thompson, Miranda Brabban, Imogen Philip, Harry Clapham, Dylan Marshall and Emma Cole. Directed by Stewart McGill the play unravels in a contemporary enquiry with a verdict expected at each performance. Performances at The Dream Factory, Warwick Weds 10th April, 7.30pm Fri 12th April, 7.30pm Sat 13th April, 7.30pm Tickets: £15 Standard, £9 Concessions During the week of plays there will be talks, events and workshops relating to themes and issues raised in the productions. Details to be available from the website in late March. ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on’ My Magic Island Exploring The Tempest for 3-7 year olds at Stratford Literary Festival. Following the success of Mustardseed’s Magical Mayhem, introducing young children to the world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in immersive performances which toured to the USA in 2018, Playbox Theatre brings an enchanting, interactive adventure for children aged 3-9 years, inspired by Shakespeare’s magical tale, The Tempest. Prospero the wizard has lost his mighty book of spells and he needs your help to find it. Along the way, we’ll meet the mysterious inhabitants of the island… Part performance and part workshop, children and grown-ups are invited to join the quest. Performances at Stratford Playhouse Sun 28th April, 10.30-11.30am or 12.30-1.30pm Tickets: £8 (Adults £4) About Playbox Theatre Playbox Theatre is a professional creative organisation developing theatre for and with young people. Based at its own custom-designed complex in Warwick, it aims to develop the skills talent and confidence of young people in the performance arts through exciting and innovative methods. Founded in 1986 Playbox serves young artists and audiences across the Warwickshire and West Midlands regions with training and performance studios supporting its main creative base. Playbox Theatre places at its heart young people as artists and audience. The Dream Factory is a creative collaboration between Playbox Theatre, Glenn Howells Architects and Sceno-Plus (Montreal). It stands on land provided by Warwickshire County Council. Playbox Theatre is a key client of Warwick District Council, providing artistic quality and experience for young people in the region. Editor’s Note An interview with the Directors of Much Ado and Measure for Measure, exploring some of the issues involved in staging these plays, is available here.

Source: Nikki Claire Cross Playbox Theatre Ltd Tel: 01926 419555 Email:

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